Weekend Wanderings…Our Finished Toddler Rock Quarry!

I am so excited to share this little project with you…..we finally finished it this weekend and I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was to see the toddler twosome playing in it ALL DAY!!!

I do warn you that there are even more photos in this post than I usually overload you with but with these sort of projects I think it is better to tell the story visually rather than with lots of words (although knowing me there probably will be lots of words anyway…sorry)!

If you are a regular reader of The Empowered Educatorย you will know that we are creating a natural playspace in our backyard for our twin toddlers as well as for my ย family day care business. You might like to read through our Creating a Boulder Sandpitย and Landscaping with Toddlersย article if this is your first visit!

We are so lucky to have the space that we do but it has been a long road to get some landscaping completed with twins ‘helping’…so it is especially exciting to finally see some of the projects in my head come to fruition!

Here’s how we created our rock quarry for kids…..

Building a Rock Quarry for Kids - Mummy Musings and Mayhem
First we had to clear the space of rubble left from excavating and other landscaping projects, then rake over the dirt……

His patient self then began lining up the bush rocks we unearthed around the property…we tried to go for flat similar shaped boulders that would make a perfect natural balance beam/stepping stones down to the sandpit…..

When he was happy with the design and that the rocks were all stable and not able to roll (some needed to be dug in a little, some just needed pacing with rubble and dirt) we moved onto the next step.
It’s important not to have such large boulders wobbling under children’s feet or worse still able to topple onto them so don’t skip over that step!
We then laid some weed mat that we had left over from the sandpit construction and filled with a light layer of sand to hold it in place.
Over the next week the girls and I collected rocks from around the yard and I began to play with the design I wanted. I originally began making a dry creek bed but when I saw the girls playing in the strip of sand as I was collecting rocks this week I realised it would be more fun for them if we left a road in the middle for trucks to be pushed up and down.
Natural Rock Quarry Playspace -Mummy Musings & Mayhem

I also wanted them to have access to various loose parts materials to add to their play so I fastened a few old garden pots I found in the shed to the retaining wall. I drilled a hole in the bottom so water can run out and then filled them with coloured rocks, sticks the girls collected, some shells from a recent beach trip, a few of our tree blocks and other bits and pieces from around the yard.

They were very popular and started off all kinds of imaginative play….

Natural Rock Quarry Playspace -Mummy Musings & Mayhem

A few smooth river rocks offered a different texture to the red bush rocks and the coloured stones were like little treasures waiting to be found. There were even a few little peg people who seemed to be hiding in the rocks!

Natural Rock Quarry Playspace -Mummy Musings & Mayhem
The shells provided a little time to stop and ‘hear’ the sea as they were pressed against little ears……
And then it was back to the important work of filling trucks and discovering new treasures as they moved down the path….I just sat back and watched…it was such a lovely moment watching them play with something we had created and that they had helped shape to their own play specifications.
Natural Rock Quarry Playspace -Mummy Musings & Mayhem
There was lots of balancing on the rock stepping stones……..

But no one was getting Tara out of her quarry….once she found the end of the road held even more rocks of all shapes and sizes she was intent on rearranging her trucks and loads numerous times!

Natural Rock Quarry Playspace -Mummy Musings & Mayhem
The quarry provides many opportunities for sensory exploration and I noticed the boots came off pretty quickly as toes explored small and large rocks, soft sand and hard gravel……
This project kept us busy most of the weekend but there was a little time to pick a lovely basket of passionfruit…..
Then pick a few herbs from the girls own herb & strawberry planters and then help Mummy plant a few flower seedlings around the rocks and along the top of the retaining wall. All of the plants around the quarry and sandpit will have small flowers and I am hoping they become another ‘loose part’ for play.
I will be encouraging the children to pick them and use them in their sand and quarry play!
Natural Rock Quarry Playspace -Mummy Musings & Mayhem
As the sun began to go down on another weekend Ruby was still very busy collecting rocks to take out to Daddy in her wheelbarrow…they are clearing a bit more of the rubble and laying some topsoil…there will be grass here again one day!
I do love a productive weekend…not to mention one that wears twin toddlers out!
Building a Natural Rock Quarry Playspace -Mummy Musings & Mayhem

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51 thoughts on “Weekend Wanderings…Our Finished Toddler Rock Quarry!

  1. Oh Jodie, this looks so amazing & I can’t wait to see how much fun your girls will have with this space over the coming months/years. I have loved following this project from the start & thanks for sharing it with us all.

  2. Love it. We are slowly revamping our garden and this is added to my list of things we could do. Having the half baskets for loose parts is great. It reminds me how much fun I had with some big construction toys I won as a kid that we must get some for DD.

    1. Thanks crafty elsie…lovely of you to leave a comment. The half baskets are working really well, they have been sitting in the garage unused for years so i am happy they finally have a purpose!

  3. Love it! I stumbled upon it via Pinterest and it looks like a fantastic adventure my boys would adore! Thank you for some wonderful inspiration. Now just to convince hubby to dig up a patch of his precious lawn… xx

  4. It’s turned out amazing, you’ve done a brilliant job. I’m sure the girls are going to have endless days exploring and being creative. Thanks for sharing your project and great photos with Country Kids.

  5. oooh this is SO COOL!!!!! Those kids of yours are going to spend their entire life outside playing, the lucky things!

    Oh and I have to say… those passionfruit look huge! So envious!

  6. Oh Jode I knew it was going to turn out amazingly and it did! How fun would that be. It’s just wonderful. You should be so proud of what you guys have made. I love that you have planted flowers and things for the girls to pick and play with. I’m hoping to make a playful garden for Jack and Sarah too…when we ever get the horse sorted ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Kate…am hopeful the flowers will be lots of fun! I am really proud of what we are creating although i have way to many ideas in my head to get done out there i think hehe!Don’t worry, you will get there soon enough!

  7. There’s no ‘girl play’ ‘boy play’ here. Absolutely LOVE it!
    Imagine the play dates! So much space and ways to express themselves.
    As I always say to you Jode, your children are so blessed to have
    such thoughtful and creative parents. And we all are lucky to be able to
    read and be inspired in what you get up to.
    Thank you once again.
    Aleta x

    1. Actually Aleta i have sadly had a few comments about being surprised ‘girls’ would want to play in the dirt and rocks…bit of a shame really, they know no different here and love it…all kids should have that same opportunity no matter what their gender i think!
      You always write such lovely comments and they brighten my day..thankyou lovely lady x

  8. This is amazing! Great way to encourage out door play & imagination.
    I wish I could do a rock quarry for Dimples, he’d want to play in it all day

  9. Well, I was positive I’d already commented on this inspirational post..? Oh well, lucky I’m back to tell you that I’ve featured it this week on Tuesday Tots. Such a fun idea and I am totally making (a much smaller version i’m afraid) one for my kids. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I thought you had to Deb…silly blogger probably swallowed it! Thanks so much for the feature and your guys will love a smaller version just as much!!

  10. Oh my god thats amazing ๐Ÿ™‚
    can we come and play! my tyler would love it. he loves his diggers. Wish I had the space for something like that.
    well done ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Amazing! You have thought of everything. So many opportunities for exploration and imaginative play. Is there any way you could incorporate a little water? I was just thinking how fun it is to paint water on to rocks, see how it changes colour and explore the feeling and even the different smell of the stones.

  12. Wow! What an amazing project! Your kids are going to love playing with that space for a long time. thanks for linking to the outdoor play party.

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